What Were Men’s Wear in India During Earlier Days and Now

Indians clothes were always made out of locally grown cotton and it is the first country where cotton was cultivated and also used for making clothes as early as 2500 BC during the Harappan era. The traces of ancient Indian wear can be found from the figurines that was discovered in various sites near the Indus Valley Civilization, the cave painting, rock cut cultures and various human art forms that can be seen in various monuments and temples.

We can find from the scriptures various figures of humans wearing different kinds of clothes which is wrapped around their body. It is very common to find men in those days were wearing dhoti and turban which was a traditional wear during those days. People used to tie clothes around their body in a number of ways. The clothing was also dependent upon the economic or social status of the person. People who were rich and wealthy prefer to wear muslin or silken clothes when common people wore cotton clothes.

This proves that during Indus civilization people were aware about the process of making silk clothes. After plenty of analysis researchers have found that the silk clothes were made by using certain process which was only known to China in earlier centuries.

Indus Valley Civilization

There are no preserved textile items could be found during Indus civilization period however by looking at various impressions made out of clay, it is treated as an evidence of that time. Some of the iconography that was unearthed of Harappan period were usually unclothed. During the period of Indus civilization, people wore long clothes that was wrapped over the waist. Turbans were also part of Indian men’s dress of certain community. There are evidences to show that people of higher classes used to wear long robe over their left shoulder.

Most of the fibre used for clothing was cotton however there is evidence of silk, wool, flax, leather and linen items too. Many coloured clothes were also found which is an evidence that people were aware about dyeing process as blue, red, green colours have been found in the dress materials. Besides clothes men during those days used to wear lot of jewellery like women. They also grew long hair, which was coiled to suit the style. People were usually bearded and they also used to trim their beard.

Vedic period

Vedic period was between 1500 to 500 BC and during this period men wore single clothes that was wrapped all over the body and it draped over the shoulder. They also used lower garment which was called paridhana. This piece of garment was pleated in the front and was tied with a belt that was known as mekhela and an upper garment which was called uttariya (almost like a shawl) that was removed during summer climate. Another garment called pravara was also during winter season. Both men and women used this garment but the manner of wearing was different. Poor people used a lower garment made of loincloth and wealthy people wore the same that was extended up to feet which was a sign of prestige.

In Rig Veda the name of three garments that were used are as follows –

  • Kurlra
  • Adhivastra
  • Andpratidhi

In Atharva Veda there is mention about inner cover, chest cover and outer cover. Besides the above garments, there were few others like Vavri, Nivi, Upavasana, Usnisa, Kumba, and Tirlta.

Mauryan period

Mauryan dynasty ruled during 322 to 185 BC. During this era, the most common clothing type was Antariya. This was used as lower garment. The garment was made of cotton, muslin or linen and decorated with different gemstone. In the centre of the waist it was tied with a knot. It was covered in lehenga style around the hips to give the shape of skirt. A long piece of cloth hanged in the front which was wrapped around the waist, which was known as patka.

Gupta period

The period from 320 AD – 550 AD is known as the golden period of India. Samrat Chandragupta was the popular ruler of Gupta dynasty. During this period stitched garments were very popular and it was considered as sign of royalty.

Most of the clothing of this period was cut and sewn. Most of the kings used closely woven silken antariya with a printed pattern. A belt was also used as a kayabandh. Men also preferred to wear plenty of ornaments. Ivory was used mostly on the jewellery. During this period men had long hair with curls and this style was quite popular.

Mughal period

During this period plenty of luxury clothes were introduced by the Mughal emperors. Silk, velvet and brocades were part of the Mughal royal dress and men sported following things:

  • Jama

It is a very tight-fitting frock coat along with a flared skirt up to the knee and fastened on the right hand side of the body.

  • Patka

This was meant for keeping jewelled sword around the waist fitted with jama. Patka was made out of fine fibre and was hand painted, embroidered or printed.

  • Chogha

A long sleeved and embroidered coat was worn over jamas and open from the front and up to knee length.

  • Pagri

It is a turban which was a typical attire of Mughals and their subjects. Giving someone his pagri is considered to give away his power and authority. If it is forcibly removed then it is a matter of disgrace.

Rajput period

The period between 7th and 8th century is considered as Rajput period as Kshatriyas with their martial sprit, chivalric and grandeur created lots of influence in India.

The costume of Rajput’s were aristocratic dresses that include angarkhi, churidar pyjama, pagdi and cummerbund which is a belt. Angarkhi was a type of short jacket worn on the upper part. Along with jama they also wore Shervani with salwar or churidar pyjama which is the oldest form of kurta pajama for mens of today. People also preferred to wear dhoti however the style of wearing was quite different.

Men’s Ethnic wear

If we dig deep into the roots of Indian wear then we can find the presence of kurta during the seventh century itself. It was considered comfortable to wear during those days.

Since kurta originated from India, kurta and pyjama can be considered as one of the ethnic wear for men. It was started as a common wear and today it has undergone exciting evolution in the form of modern kurta pajama for mens. People not only wear this dress as a normal day to day wear but also as special wear for certain special occasions. Nowadays movie stars and models have also popularized this dress.

Due to 200 years of British rule in India, western wear has overshadowed most of the ethnic dresses in India however Kurta has still maintained its dignified presence. Kurta may not be a formal dress for people living in metro cities but still it has a strong presence and is considered as one of the traditional wear for Indian men. Whether it is family function or any religious occasion, kurta is always the first choice of most of the men in India. Since this dress provides lots of comfort many of them think that this is an appropriate dress and also people look smart when they wear this attire.

With many different designs you can choose the right kurta for the occasion and it has taken an important place in Indian men’s wardrobe. There is an element of flamboyance attached to kurta which makes this attire an attractive choice of any macho men.

Casual outings

Any kurta pajama for mens may sound as casual wear as you really feel refreshed when you go for outings particularly during the summer season. This attire suits very well for all kinds of climate the country has. Usually people wear kurta with pyjama however it looks perfectly well if you pair it with a pair of denim.

During festivals

India is one country in the world where festivals are celebrated in different parts of the country throughout the year. People generally prefer to wear a traditional dress during the festive season and kurta and pyjama fits very well for this purpose. Choose a pair of juttis along with matching kurta and pyjama which is an ideal festive wear for men.

Engagement ceremony

Whether it is friend’s engagement or any of your cousin’s you can give your best look by choosing a matching kurta pajama for mens.  You can also add a dupatta to create the perfect mood for the occasion.


Indian wedding is an occasion where people meet all their relatives who gather at the same place and there are lots of togetherness along with fun and frolic. There are designer kurta pyjamas meant for grooms who want to wear traditional dress to look best along with his new bride. There are many royal looking kurtas available that the groom would like to wear during this occasion. Also, friends of the groom like to wear kurta and pyjama to spice up the occasion.

Where to buy Men’s kurta Pyjama?

There are several festivals celebrated throughout the year as people of different religions live in this country. People usually look for certain dress that can perfectly match with the occasion and undoubtedly kurta pajama for mens is an all-time favourite and you can find this dress in almost every men’s wardrobe.

Whether you are sophisticated urban elite or from a rural background everyone will choose to wear kurta pyjama for a festival. Dancing is one of the important part of every celebration in India and this dress is very convenient if you want to participate in dance.

It is a bit difficult to find the right place to purchase this kind of attire. You can visit Nihal Fashions stores which is one of the well-known places in India where you can find all kinds of ethnic dresses for both men and women and for all age groups.

Visit any Indian stores in foreign countries

If you are interested to buy Indian dress material in foreign countries like USA or any European countries, then the best place to visit would be an Indian store located in that country. Finding Indian restaurants in a foreign country is much easier however finding an Indian store is not that simple. It is almost like hitting a jackpot in a casino as there are too few Indian stores existing in many of the countries abroad. However, the popularity of Indian attire is increasing due to significant presence of Indian population in many of the countries worldwide. However, if you try to buy from off-line Indian store in a foreign country then it may be a bit expensive.

Shopping on online Stores

If you browse through the internet, you will find a long list of Indian stores where you can get many different kinds of Indian dresses for both men and women including Kurta and pyjama. You can choose your kurta and pyjama based on your height and other body measurements. This is much easier way to shop for the garments you want as you do not have to step out of your home nor you have to drive in a crowded road and waste time in finding suitable location to park your vehicle. Another benefit of buying online is that you can compare the prices offered by many other shops and able to get the material of your choice at the best price.

Therefore, whenever you decide to buy kurta pyjama or any other Indian traditional dress then have try online stores and it is most likely that you can get the right dress at the right price too.

Buy from few special stores

There are few special stores like Nihal Fashions that offers very attractive price for any kind of ethnic Indian wear for all ages and all gender. You can get best quality stuff from this store at reasonable rate.

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